In a sort of follow up from last week, I talked with Andy Marocco about the disappearance of Flight 19. His take on what happened and where the flight might have come to rest is different than that of Douglas Westfall. You can listen to the interview here:
We did talk, briefly about the headstone for George Paonessa that is found at Arlington National Cemetery. Those of you who visit here frequently (and who have read the last couple of posts) know that the mystery has been solved. A member of
Paonessa’s family arranged for the headstone and as is policy, in cases where
the body has not been recovered, a headstone was erected in a part of the
cemetery devoted to those whose bodies were lost for whatever reason.
In a revelation I found interesting, when I asked about the theory that Paonessa had survived and moved to California at some point, Andy was able to clear up part of the problem. According to the information George Paonessa was buried in California. I had wondered about finding an obituary that might list family members. My thought was that we could learn if this was, in fact, the George Paonessa who had been lost with Flight 19. According to Andy, he found the man’s headstone in a California cemetery and the information available told us it was a different man.
We did talk about the idea that all the planes of Flight 19 had gone down together and that none of the pilots broke away from the formation. Andy suggested, based on the Navy records of the flight, that he was able to locate the general area of the crash site, which, ironically, is outside the limits of the Bermuda Triangle. To prove this point he revealed that the navigational records show that a mistake in reading the precise heading would have caused the planes to be some fifteen miles where they should have been. That was enough to radically throw off the navigation.
Although I wanted to talk a little more about the Martin Mariner, one of the search aircraft that was lost that same night, we didn’t have enough time to get deeply into it. I had seen an episode of Josh Gate’s Expedition Unknown where they did find wreckage on the ocean floor that might have come from a Martin Mariner. Andy said that he hoped to be able to return to the site and find evidence to prove that.
So, what has happened is that my interview with Douglas Westfall led to John Steiger’s finding of the Headstone for Paonessa, which led to research about how that happened. In less than a week, I was able to resolve this, learning exactly how that marker came to be. We have heard, in the last two shows, two theories about what happened to the various aircraft involved in the disaster, which aren’t exactly the exact opposite but which don’t exactly support one another. We have gained additional insight into what happened, learning that the aircraft took off in poor weather rather than a bright, clear, sunny sky. We learned that the Martin Mariner, which some have labeled at the “Flying Gas Tank,” was no such thing and that the evidence that it blew up was shaky at best.
But, then, we have cleared up a couple of issues. True, there still is the mystery about what, exactly, happened, but I think it is a little clearer in our minds.
Next up is Tom Carey. He listened to my interview with Don Schmitt and Tom seems to disagree with Don’s assessment of the Glenn Dennis and the missing nurse story. We’ll delve into that and some other matters Roswell related. If you have a question or two, append them here and I’ll try to get them asked.